The Goolabong man is real and waits under the overpass
of I-70 and State Highway 178. He wears his heart on his
proverbial sleeve and slurps mildewed coffee from weathered
Starbucks cups that he finds on the ground next to used condoms,
wads of Kleenex, and empty ketchup packs.
I have offered up fresh lamb for him to eat. He prefers it
cooked medium well-done with a side of mashed English peas
and mint. Once he stole my sister’s bicycle and covered it
with plastic bags from the handlebars all the way down to the
rear fender. When he rode it, the plastic bags ballooned with
cool air and lifted him up off of the ground.
He longs to be proud of his heritage but hasn’t any
paperwork to validate his claims. No DNA testing, or black Bibles
with family trees etched in waxy red pencils of who begat whom;
no word-of-mouth stories to help prove his existence; that he frightens
the stew out of every single living thing in which he comes in contact.
You cannot touch the Goolabong man, or kiss him if you wanted.
He is too elusive for that sort of trivial behavior. You can never see
him if you don’t believe, and if you don’t believe, then how can you
think for a minute that there is a god?
Whether John Dorroh taught any high school science is still up for grabs. However, he managed to show up at 6:45 every morning for a couple of decades. His poetry has appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, Red Dirt Forum, Red Fez, Dime Show Review, Setu, Message in a Bottle, Tuck, Piker Press, Blue Moon Literary & Art Review, and several others. He also writes short fiction and the occasional rant.